About

photo (9)

Primotipo… is Mark Bisset .

The sight of Kevin Bartlett’s’ Mclaren M10B F5000 bellowing sideways out of Shell corner, Sandown Park, Melbourne, Australia in January ’72 was his first racing sight, remains indelibly etched in his mind, and started a lifelong fascination and passion for motor racing .

He has owned and raced Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Lotus, Venom, Asp, Elfin, Lola, Van Diemen & Ralt cars.
Favourite marques are Lotus, Lola & Alfa…but all racing and sports racing cars float his boat.

He is also an executive in a professional service firm.

The object of this blog is to share memories, observations & opinions on the sports past, present & future…

 


 

Peter Brennan  Elfin 400 Chev

Peter Brennan
Elfin 400 Chev

Racers Retreat…is Peter Brennan

Melbourne’s Peter Brennan is a passionate racer, restorer and businessman.

Apprenticed as a mechanic, he quickly established a successful business and prepared, raced and restored some of Australia’s significant cars both for his own collection and for his clients.

He started his racing career in the ‘Jinx BSA’, a 500cc racer and after retiring to establish his business and raise 3 children with his wife Elizabeth, he returned to the sport competing in Australian National Formula 1, Formula Holden at the time. He now competes in a variety of cars in Historic Racing.

As a restorer/driver his collection includes the ex-Patrese ’79 F1 Arrows A1B, ex-Matich Elfin 400/Traco Olds sports car, both cars the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

 


rodway

Rodways Repco Recollections…is Rodway Wolfe.

Rod was brought up in Victorias’ East Gippsland, after completing his motor mechanics apprenticeship he was employed by Repco’s retail arm ‘ blagging ‘ his way into a job with the Repco Brabham Engine company and later the F5000 company.

He was part of Repcos’ small elite team all through the World Championship years of 1966/7 to 1973, this is his ‘front row’ account of the company, it’s engineers, customers, drivers and of course the engines themselves.

Rodway was then Holinger Engineering’s first employee after that returning to East Gippsland where he established and owned successful businesses in motor cycle and marine retailing and ships chandlery .

He is now retired and lives at ‘Wildwood’ , his wilderness property in East Gippsland.

 

Comments
  1. Ursula says:

    Good Afternoon, I am not really sure how to contact you but I am a student at film school making a documentary about car racing. I am really trying to find photos from Bathurst 1969 as the main talent in the doco has a father that raced at bathurst in 1969. I noticed that you have two on your blog (the brochure photo and a lineup of all the cars) from 1969 and i would really really like to include these in my doco. Can I please do this?

  2. Hello Mark,

    congratulations to your blog, brings back a lot of memories!

    Best regards

    Patrick

  3. Hello
    Someone passed me a link to your post of October 12, 2014 about Graham Hill and the 1962 German Grand Prix. The last photo is a view of the rear of a Porsche landing after one of the ‘jumps’ at the Nürburgring circuit and you say that you are weren’t sure which of the Porsche drivers was in the car. There were five Porsches in this race, the two works cars of Dan Gurney and Jo Bonnier and three (presumably private entrants) Carel Godin de Beaufort, Heini Walter and Nino Vaccarella. The car in the photo is a Porsche 804 which means that it was a works car as the private entrants all drove the old 718 model. I can’t find a photo of Jo Bonnier in that race, but one of Dan Gurney shows him wearing his usual dark coloured helmet, so the driver in your photo is Jo Bonnier.

    Dave Williams, Hyde, Cheshire, England

  4. Dave Williams says:

    Hello Mark
    I’ve been browsing through your site again and I notice that you’re having a problem attributing a chassis number to the 2 Ferrari 350 CanAm cars at Riverside in 1967. There’s an excellent site which helps you to identify most Ferrari competition cars here: http://www.barchetta.cc/All.Ferraris/ferrari.by.serial.number.summary/index.html
    This will tell you that car number 23 at Riverside was 0860 and number 27 was 0858.
    I find the site of great help in identifying Ferraris I’d photographed years ago when I want to use those photographs in my Blog.
    Dave Williams

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Dave, agree regarding the Barchetta archive it’s very good. There were quite a few conflicting attributions for ‘0858’ from different sources about the race record of the car and not just in the CanAm. In the end i chose to accept David McKays version of CanAm events, on the basis that he bought the car and was probably told the truth by the factory given his position in the ‘Ferrari World’ as a distributor and racing car customer of some standing and repute . I suspect the reality is we will never really know, Internet forums are full of disputes on so many cars! Mark

  5. Décio Dalmolim Jr says:

    Amazing job gys. Congratulations.

  6. Chris Haigh says:

    Mark–Your story about Spencer Martin contains a photo of he and David McKay captioned “early 2000’s” Photo (unattributed). For the record it was October 27 2004 taken by me at Wakefield Park after I had taken David for a few laps in his original Jaguar Mk1 (“The Grey Pussy”). It was his last time there as he died on the following boxing day.
    Chris Haigh

    • markbisset says:

      Many thanks Chris, I will update the caption and attribute the photo, it must have been not long before his passing? Amazing life of achievement he lead! M

  7. Tim Bryant says:

    Invaluable

  8. Jodi says:

    Hi Mark, We (Dalton Watson Fine Books) are doing a book on Colin Crabbe’s adventures and see you have some great photos of Stan Jones and the 250F. He later sold that car to Colin. Wondered if you can email me and let me know if you have anything we can use in the book. Your site is awesome! Thanks, Jodi

    • markbisset says:

      Hi Jodie, now that will be an interesting book! In all cases I am not in a position to assign copyright of any of the photos in my article, you will need to deal with the photographers direct. Best if luck with the book. Mark

  9. Martin says:

    The photo of Diana of Diana Davison driving the Austin 7 at Rob Roy is the Jim Leech car, usually driven by Joan Leech. Probably another case of “why should you have all the fun”. I have photos of the car several years later painted in a darker colour and with a cutout for the carburetor in the bonnet. Sadly the car was destroyed by a later owner but that is another story.

  10. lindsay ross says:

    Hi Mark, LIndsay Ross here. Would you be interested in my Motorsport (UK) magazine collection? Goes from 1977 to present. Can’t seem to get you on the e-mail address I have on my system. Cheers

  11. Jim Scammell (SCCSA) says:

    Mark, thank you for such a wonderfully evocative blog. The photos and stories are without parallel. Cheers Jim

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Jim, really appreciate your feedback, enjoyed the two Sporting Car Club of SA meetings i attended…and one of the best motor racing libraries in the world there in King William Road! Mark

  12. Oz Krepski says:

    Hello, my name is Oz and I am from Brazil. I am 35 years old and I am still a huge fan of F1 history, even after Senna’s tragedy. I was looking some histories about Adrian Newey and I found your post about the Leyton House’s 1990 car and you have a lot of nice pictures I had never seen before. So, I took a look at your blog and I was wondering if you do this as a hobby, for passion, and I want to say congratulations! I know exactly how it is, I have a youtube channel and I do this with the same motivation.
    By the way, as a suggestion, it could be nice to see you talking about F1 and general races in a video, discussing between you, and showing some photos and also some videos. It would be very nice! YouTube is a good tool to reach fans and they like to leave comments there.
    Well, I hope you never lose that passion! Keep up the good work!
    Cheers buddies! =]
    Oz Krepski

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Oz, it is an amateur thing albeit it has become a trifle obsessive!
      I do attach YouTube footage occasionally but I am not really sophisticated enough to be interviewing subjects!
      Maybe one day
      Regards,
      Mark

  13. shaneb234 says:

    Hi Mark, nice to meet you the other night. I do enjoy your website, Regards Shane Bowden

    • markbisset says:

      Likewise Shane, one of the bonuses of being back in Melbs after 13 years in Sydney and Adelaide is to be able to attend the VHRR meetings, John Ampt was fascinating as I knew so little about the fella!
      At some point it would be great to do an article on your car and the ‘Prad Story’ I know fragments but not a lot, Clive Adams is an interesting topic I reckon?
      Mark

      • shaneb234 says:

        Happy to assist. Clive is an interesting chap, on my only meeting with him at home in Taree in 2009 we had a good chat. Both Clive & Jack Pryer were instrumental in racing in NSW in the 50’s & 60’s. Clive purchased the land that the Bathurst pits stand for the ARDC and bot worked the earth moving equipment to build the Oran Park circuit as well as acting as officials. Shane

  14. Carole says:

    Hello, I’m researcher and I’m currently working on a French documentary of 120 minutes on the French automotive history to be broadcast for the first time on RMC Découverte in September or October 2016.
    The director would talk about “Les charlatans” and photos on your site are great. Do you think we can use without additional fees to be paid?
    The film is being assembled for another 2 weeks.
    Thanks a lot. Carole

    • markbisset says:

      Carole, go for your life but note that I do not have title to any of the images, I attribute when the photographers name is apparent and indicate otherwise if the image was found on the internet, Mark Bisset

  15. Carole says:

    Thank you Mark for your answer.
    Pictures that interest us on the page https://primotipo.com/tag/the-three-charlatans/ are credited as “unattributed” except one entitled “‘The Three Charlatans’ circa 1912 Paul Zuccarelli, Jules Goux and Georges Boillot (TNF).” I don’t know and can not find information on what “TNF” mean? Thank you for your help, Best. Carole

    • markbisset says:

      Carole, TNF is ‘The Nostalgia Forum’ an Autosport Forum, it is the site on which I found the shot, not the individual photographer however, who was probably not recognised by whoever posted the shot on that forum! Few attribute which makes it hard for those of us trying to respect the photographers IP. Best of luck with the show, I will be very interested to see it in due course, Mark

  16. Bill Munro says:

    Hello Mark. I came across your blog through a Google search for a picture of the 1961 Kimberley Cooper Indy car. Through my micropublishing company, Earlswood Press I am writing and publishing a book on Ferguson Formula 4WD and I’ve seen a couple of pics P99 on your site, including a one in 1963 in NZ with Graham Hill, attributed to John Ellacott. I’d like to use a copy of this image in the book. Is there any way you could put me in touch with whoever owns the copyright of this please?

  17. Hello, My name is Mark Riccetti, Jr. and I am the Director of Operations for the Luzerne County Historical Society. We are putting together an exhibit for our Museum on the Giant’s Despair Hillclimb and I am writing to ask your permission to use the photos of Carrol Shelby on your site in our display. All appropriate credit will be given of course.

    • markbisset says:

      Mark, It sounds like an interesting display, feel free to use the images but note that I am not the owner or licensee of the copyright. Mine is an amateur online magazine, I attribute where I know the photographer or source but as I say I have no rights to the images, best of luck with it, Mark

      • I recently wrote some comments to your blog and as of now have not heard back.I was just wondering if you received it as it was the RB.620&740 article that I really enjoyed and took me back to the time I spent at Maidstone. Good work Mark .
        Gordon Littleford.
        Dallas Texas
        .

      • markbisset says:

        Thanks Gordon, I did acknowledge your comment but managed to call you Graham, my apologies! Repco is such a fascinating topic, all achieved in my home town which adds a whole layer of interest. The next bit will be the ’67 championship season. What was your role @ Maidstone and years of service? Thanks for getting in touch, happy to include any insights or anecdotes you have into the articles, many of which are updated as people like you add to them, thanks again, Mark

  18. Paul King says:

    Hi Mark , Paul King here( Lew wade Birrana 374) came across your blog today by accident. Boy did that bring back memories. Some great and some not so good. yes I did “drift away ” from the scene after my momentous crash at Amaroo in 1976. Lew ordered another F3 from the two Brians and bought me Keith Poole’s winning FV to have a play with while we waited until the Cheetah was finished. Unfortunately it turned out to be painfully slow especially at Phillip Island and Lew thought that I had lost my “mojo” so our partnership ended before the Cheetah was finished. Not long after he was killed in his Tiger Moth and that was the end of my motor racing Formula 3’s . After life settled down I began racing motor bikes, mainly Kawasaki 900’s, Suzuki GS 1000, and a 250 production Yamaha LC , as well as a bit of drag racing.
    Now here we are 7th of September 2016 and I am still involved , albeit on a track day basis only. Mainly at Phillip Island and Mallala. Unfortunately I had a major high side in 2014 on my Honda CBR 600 at Mallala and it has taken the best part of a year to get back to full health .
    So now I ride a Kawasaki ZR 750 but at 71 I think its time to retire, but my competitive nature still pushes me to keep going. My son Garry is a chip off the old block and rides my old Kawasaki ZX6R
    but he is much quicker than me at Phillip, Island, even when I was on my Kawasaki ZRX 1200R !!
    I remember Peter Brennan very well. He was an excellent mechanic and although very young at the time he was working for us, his amazing potential was visible to those who knew about race car preparation.
    I still have the original “034”manufacturing plate of the Birrana 374 and continue to have reoccurring dreams about finding it in a shed and getting it back once again. Funny how those memories are indelibly etched on my mind. I really don’t know what happened to it. Rumours are floating around that it was seen at Phillip Island last year, but I don’t have any confirmation .
    My favourite memory of the 374 was at Oran Park in 1975. It was a combined formula 2/3 race and I was on the front row of the grid with Leo Geoghan in his Birrana 274 behind me, One of his mechanics came up to my car at the 3 minute board and said: “Leo said that at the start he might be a little slower off the mark so could you please move over when he comes through.”
    I laughed so hard, as I was not about to move over for anyone. It took him 3 laps before he caught me!.
    keep up the good work
    cheers
    Paul King

    • markbisset says:

      Paul, great to hear from you and your memories, be good to connect you and Peter when he returns from Europe. Clearly once a racer always a racer!
      I have clear memories and a shot or two of your Elfin Vee and that fabulous 374! Go well and thanks for your contribution, Mark

  19. Paul King says:

    Thanks Mark for your prompt reply. So great to hear from you. Love to keep in touch. if you could send me your email address I have a great photo of the 374 at Winton with the two “Brians” in tow, on the way to a new lap record. You might be able to use it
    kind regards

    Paul King

  20. Bill Munro says:

    Fascinating site, Mark. I’m researching for my book on Ferguson Formula four-wheel drive and I love the pictures of P99 in Australia and of the Lotus 63. The watermarks on some of the images are useful, as it means I can contact the photographers to see about licensing some for the book.

    • markbisset says:

      Bill,
      Go for it, am glad the article is of use, am pretty careful with my attributions, some of the photographers will be easy to find, some not I suspect! Best of luck with it.
      Mark

  21. Terry Sullivan says:

    Mark have loaded links to the great Tim Mayer story on both THe Roaring Season and The Nostalgia Forum.

    Hopefully this may elicit some constructive positive comments which may help you

    Thanks for your great efforts

    • markbisset says:

      Terry S,
      You are a legend! Nice to make your acquaintance, very much appreciate your support .
      It’s funny which articles hit the spot and which don’t, clearly there is a lot of interest in Tim.
      I wanted to treat the car separately but have tweaked the article with some additional material, especially on the two chassis.
      Am glad you enjoy it all, it’s a bit of fun for me, if I can share some stuff with fellow enthusiasts and get some good discussion going it’s all good!
      Mark

  22. jen says:

    Hi Mark, the article you wrote, or someone wrote, about Frank Pratt, which you have referenced in your page on the 328 from Germany, has disappeared from the net. Do you, by any chance, have a copy of the original article referenced?? I’d be really interested to read it. thanks, jen

    • markbisset says:

      A Bumma isn’t it Jen!
      The site is the Sporting Motorcycle Club of Geelong, in Victoria, Australia. I’ve tried a couple of ways of getting onto the site but none work, my guess is its being updated or some such. Try it again in a couple of days, I’ll keep an eye on it myself.
      The article is a very interesting summary of Pratt’s life, important as their is not much to be found about a man who was a successful car and bike racer as well as a very capable businessman.
      Mark

  23. Petr Sedina says:

    Hi Mark,

    This is the excellent site, you are able to find great details from history. Good luck for your future articles.

    Best regards

    Petr

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Petr,
      Great to hear from you, I appreciate your encouragement. I hope you find much of interest within the site, it’s eclectic if nothing else!
      Mark

  24. Terry Wright says:

    Nice site – what theme do you use?

    • markbisset says:

      Not sure Terry, the one shown to me by my friend who set up the site! I just write the shite, I don’t have any idea about the technical side of it. Mark

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